Seychelles-Tel Aviv direct flight launches Thursday; first in region to Israel
Oded Joseph presented his credentials to President Danny Faure on Tuesday at State House, in Victoria, the capital. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Weekly direct flights between Israel and Seychelles that begin Thursday morning will further bring the people of both countries closer, said the newly appointed Israeli ambassador.
Oded Joseph presented his credentials to President Danny Faure on Tuesday at State House, in Victoria, the capital.
"I am lucky to be here today as Air Seychelles will be launching the first direct flight to Israel. This will definitely bring our people together and closer. It will only be two hours away from one country to the other," said Joseph.
The new service will operate on Wednesdays departing from Seychelles to Tel Aviv at 11:55 pm and returning to Seychelles from Tel Aviv at 5:30 pm.
Joseph said, "This will further be a strategic vehicle that will further enhance our relations. It will allow many tourists to arrive from Israel to this beautiful country. Of course, we will also welcome the people of Seychelles to the holy land. We also have amazing beaches that the people here can enjoy."
"I want to organise more cultural events where both countries can come together to participate. So we should utilise the fact that we are now with the direct flight and a few hours away from each other. We hope to be in the top 10 countries that visit Seychelles," he added.
In a recent interview, Michael Berlouis, the chief financial officer of Air Seychelles, said the new direct flight to Tel Aviv will be a first for the Indian Ocean region.
"The creation of the first-ever air corridor between Seychelles and Tel Aviv will strengthen business, tourism and cultural ties between the two countries in addition to boosting traffic and onward connections to other destinations across our network," said Berlouis.
Air Seychelles is already facing a competitive environment and the island nation's President Danny Faure said in his State of the Nation address that the government will subsidise Air Seychelles $6 million per year for the next five years starting next year.
In terms of investment and trade, Joseph said that the potential is huge in many fields and one key area that both countries can work on together in agriculture.
"I believe that this is one main important issue in Seychelles. Cooperation in this field will bring fruitful results," said Joseph.
Another point touched upon during the meeting between Joseph and Faure is water management. Joseph said water management is directly connected to high-tech agriculture.
The new ambassador said that Israel and Seychelles will build stronger relations since both countries religiously respect the values of the Bible.
Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean, has a population of 95,000 and according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 76 percent are Roman Catholic.